Scientists say that the human-caused climate crisis is responsible for the deadly heat waves sweeping the planet -

Scientists say that the human-caused climate crisis is responsible for the deadly heat waves sweeping the planet

Scientists have found that human-induced climate change is responsible for the historic heat waves that swept the planet from China to the United States.

The World Weather Attribution (WWA) research, released on Tuesday, says record-breaking temperatures in Europe and the United States were almost “impossible” in a world without global warming.

The researchers, who analyzed records on all three continents, said the likelihood of extreme heat in China, which recently recorded an all-time hottest of 52.2°C, is now 50 times more likely due to the climate crisis.

The researchers assessed the role of the climate crisis in these extreme heat events using peer-reviewed methods, weather station data on the hottest days in July, and computer models.

It is already known that greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet have increased the average global temperature by 1.2°C, which in turn makes heat waves more frequent and extreme.

The WWA study found that heatwaves such as the currently ongoing ones have a probability of occurring about once every 15 years in the United States and the Mexico region, once every 10 years in southern Europe, and once every five years in China due to rising global average temperatures.

However, were it not for the human-caused climate crisis, these heat events would be extremely rare. In China, such a heatwave occurred about once in 250 years, while extreme heat experienced across the US, Mexico and southern Europe was “virtually impossible”.

Not only did the climate crisis play a role in the heat wave, but it also made the temperatures higher than they would be with a natural phenomenon like El Nino.

The study indicated that the European heat wave was 2.5 degrees Celsius, the North American heat wave was 2 degrees Celsius hotter, and the heat wave in China was 1 degree Celsius hotter due to the human-caused climate crisis.

The researchers involved in the study said that the stronger impact of the climate crisis on the United States and Europe is the result of a complex relationship between global and regional factors. Previous studies have shown that Europe is warming faster than the global average. Scientists said this is because the impact of the climate crisis is not global.

“Once again, our study shows the significant impact of the rapid rate of warming on local temperatures in Europe. It underscores the urgency for Europe to continuously take adaptation and mitigation measures,” said Sokokje Philipp, a researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and one of the study authors.

“The planet does not warm evenly,” Philippe adds. “Climate scientists are working to understand the complex relationships between global and regional average temperature increases.”

The map shows the maximum temperatures in Europe last week

(European Union, Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service data)

Other scientists have also largely attributed recent heat events, including northern hemisphere July events and marine heat waves, to the climate crisis.

Earlier, WWA researchers also analyzed the April heat wave in twelve Asian countries, including India, China and Thailand as well as heat events in 2022 in the UK which were found to be “ten times more likely” to occur due to the climate crisis.

Recently, the Met Office also said that the reason behind the hottest month of June in the UK was also the climate crisis.

Heatwaves are taking their toll, with deadly wildfires raging in Greece and Canada, and heat-related illnesses and deaths reported in several countries.

In the United States alone, more than 200 people have died from extreme heat, and Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Algeria and China have also reported heat-related deaths and an increase in hospitalizations.

A recent study found that last year’s heat in Europe contributed to the deaths of more than 61,000 people.

The study warned that unless there is a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a shift away from fossil fuels, heat waves will become more common and more intense in the future.

If the average global temperature rise rises by 2 degrees Celsius, a limit that is expected to be breached in the next 30 years if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as they are, there is the potential for heat waves like the one that currently occurs every two to five years.

“The result of this attribution study is not surprising. The world has not stopped burning fossil fuels, the climate has continued to warm and heatwaves have continued to worsen. It is that simple,” said Frederick Otto, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science at Imperial College London and co-founder of WWA.

However, she added, these heat waves are “not evidence of ‘runaway warming’ or ‘climate collapse’.”

“We still have time to secure a safe and healthy future, but we urgently need to stop burning fossil fuels and invest in reducing vulnerability.”

If we didn’t, tens of thousands of people would still die from heat-related causes each year. It is critical that governments legislate to phase out fossil fuels at this year’s COP climate conference.”